Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day and the Saints

Private John Steele on a church 
in Sainte Mere Englise.
An effigy of the paratrooper still hangs on
the church today!

In honor of Memorial Day this year, I went with two of the best people I know to visit the Armed Forces Military Museum in Largo Florida. The trip was well worth the 2 hour drive as the museum was fantastic and exceeded all of our expectations. The exhibits were very well done and I will definitely be visiting again soon!

Being a veteran myself, the visit was especially meaningful and added an additional dynamic to the whole experience. The museum was educational in a historical respect, but I also felt as if I was learning about family members that I had not previously met. The shared experience of serving in combat seems to create a unique bond that transcends time and even nationalities.

Being a Catholic, as it turns out, unexpectedly added yet another dynamic that quickly turned my thoughts from the "Band of Brothers" to the "Communion of Saints."

 As we made our way through the exhibits we began to notice an interesting, and pretty awesome, trend. There were Catholic prayer books and rosaries among the personal effects of veterans from each time period displayed. These devotional items belonged to faithful Catholics who served in combat anytime from World War I to the War in Iraq.

The shared experience of combat among these veterans establishes a unique and substantial bond, yet it is incomparable to "the faith of the Church, received from the apostles. Faith is a treasure of life which is enriched by being shared" (CCC #949). They are members of the body of Christ. The faith of these veterans draws them into a supernatural communion of charity in which "none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together...In this solidarity with all men, living or dead, which is founded on the communion of saints, the least of our acts done in charity redounds to the profit of all" (CCC #953). The natural inclination to honor and remember our veterans who have sacrificed so much reinforces the orthodox Catholic teaching on the communion of saints.

World War II  Europe

War in Afghanistan

World War II Pacific Theater

World War I

Korean War

This was my grandfather's.
 I had it with me during the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan. 

Thank you to all veterans.
Thank you to all Saints.


  1. great pictures! thank you for sharing and thank you for your service to our country

  2. What a beautiful post! Thank you for your service, and thank you for this powerful reflection!